*photo credit: Lexi Read
I’m an expert on change, not because I ever wanted to be, but simply because it’s what I know. It’s my close counterpart and my experience qualifies my expertise in this area.
When I started this season, I believed I was doing a good thing. I was being obedient to the call on my life to simply say yes to the unknown. The future felt bright and full of hope. I was the hero. I was the one doing the rescuing; the first responder bringing relief and recovery to those trapped on the road to nowhere.
Then Jesus wrecked me.
He placed me on a courtroom bench next to a mama longing to hold her child again, one that now called out for me. He stood me in front of a judge as she handed down tough tasks and disheartening demands on a broken father. I felt compassion for a moment, then contempt because I would never do what he did. I picked up the gavel and spewed sentences like it was my job.
He handed me a busted baby who was hard to love. I struggled to attach and connect because my love wasn’t enough. My strength wasn’t sufficient. My grace was grimy and my character was contaminated.
He took my pride and he tore it apart.
He humbled me, little by little, day after daunting day. He revealed his redemption for me. He was the one doing the rescuing. And I was the one being rescued.
He was saving me from myself.
The darkness of this journey still suffocates me in some moments-so many moments. I am frequently reminded that I can’t cure or change or transform. I’m caught off guard by my undone emotions that can’t seem to find their steady stride.
Foster care is changing me. It’s changing who I am. It’s changing how I see. And it’s changing the dark, secret places of my heart.
The beautiful gift of begging God for his presence and searching for his hand in the bloodshed of brokenness is mine.
I am changed.
But many days, I’m still floundering in the murky waters. Loving a kid that’s been abruptly abandoned in my arms is often so very heavy and finding my role in her life is filled with confusion and disappointment.
The reality of who I really am without Jesus isn’t inspiring.
Even now, I’m disoriented, feeling like this wasn’t actually my calling, like I could never love a kid well again. Ever. Doubt drips down and uncertainty finds her way under my feet. The rivalry rages on, but I know the war is won. And that truth sends me to my knees and back to the battlefield-even in my failures.
This is foster care.
Real life isn’t protected by a facade of feelings that comfort us in our humanity. This reality rips out and renovates hearts that stay the course. The change exposes us piece by piece. And that’s unpleasant and uncomfortable and unrelenting.
But I’m willing to be weathered by the storms of this life so he gets the glory for using an ordinary, sinful, weak and weary mama to capture the hearts of the broken.
I am changing. I am changed.